Sunday, April 28, 2013

Star Trek: The Video Game "Shatner vs. Gorn" Trailer

I have no interest in the upcoming Star Trek: The Video Game at all, but this trailer is great.

Shatner, is there anything you can't do?

Injustice: Gods Among Us "Lobo" Trailer

Lobo will be the first DLC character for Injustice: Gods Among Us.  You can see him in action in this trailer here or below:

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Behind the Battles "Broadcast Promo"

The next "Behind the Battles" video for Injustice: Gods Among Us is out, this one entitled "Broadcast Promo."

I have no clue why it's called that (I guess it was meant for broadcast somewhere), but it goes into brief detail about the design and content of the game itself.

You can view it here or below:

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Arkham City Skins for Catwoman and Harley Quinn

A trailer has been released showing off the Batman: Arkham City skins for Catwoman and Harley Quinn in Injustice: Gods Among Us, which you can view here or below:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Legendary Edition Announced

For those who've been holding off on picking up The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, now's your chance.

On June 4th, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Legendary Edition will be released on Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3.  This bundle includes the full retail game
(of course), the 1.9 Title Update, and all three DLC add-ons.

For full details, you can check out this Bethesda Blog post here.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us Battle Arena Finals

I was swamped last week so apologies for posting this up late.  The Injustice: Gods Among Us Battle Arena has come to a close, with the final match between Superman and Batman happening last Monday night over a live stream.

For those who missed out on the entire tournament over the last two months, take a moment to view this "Road to the Finals" video here or below for a nice summary:

Now that you're all caught up on what's been happening, for those who want to say goodbye to a beloved hero you can watch this short "In Memoriam" video here or below:

And now, for the final match of the Battle Arena, you can watch Superman take on Batman here or below:

And there you have it, two months of voting and battles done.  I received my Green Lantern skin for voting a day or so ago via email, so if you haven't gotten yours yet you should soon.

Injustice: Gods Among Us is available now on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us Launch Trailer and Gameplay TV Spot

This coming April 16th, Injustice: Gods Among Us releases to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U.  The game's launch trailer is now out and can be viewed here or below:

In addition, there's a TV spot making the rounds, which you can check out here or below:

Injustice: Gods Among Us "Green Lantern" Trailer and "Ares vs Killer Frost" Trailer

With Injustice: Gods Among Us launching this Tuesday, the promo videos are rolling in.

Recently released is a Green Lantern character trailer that you can watch here or below:

Also, a new gameplay trailer showing a match between Ares and Killer Frost can be viewed here or below:

Injustice: Gods Among Us Battle Arena Live Finale Announced

The final battle in the Injustice: Gods Among Us Battle Arena will be streamed live this coming Monday, April 15th.

Along with the match, there will be discussions with celebrity guests and the game's first DLC character will be revealed.

You can check out the video announcing this live stream here or below:

On Monday at 7:00 pm Pacific Time, tune in here for the stream.

BioShock Infinite Alternate Covers Available for Download

Many fans were disappointed with the box art for BioShock Infinite, and prior to release Irrational Games heard their complaints and held a voting poll for gamers to choose their favourite alternate cover, which also shipped wit
h the game.

Not only did Irrational Games do this bit of fan service, but now, they've posted up all the other covers that could be voted on along with a few others for people to download, allowing them to create even more box art for their copy of the game.

Head on over here to choose the one you want, if you're interested.  Make sure to select the version of the game that you have before printing!

As for me, I really like the third one, "Falling Art."  Shame that wasn't in the original round of voting.

Gears of War 3 Sold

Yesterday I got around to selling Gears of War 3, which is something I should have done a long time ago.  Clocking in as my most disappointing game of 2010, I regretted getting it almost immediately.

I personally found the storytelling and certainly the character development and horrible dialogue in the Campaign to be so bad it was laughable, I never cared for Versus, Horde wasn't innovative enough over what was offered in Gears of War 2, and I never really got into Beast Mode.

After finally getting a few Multiplayer Achievements last Spring, I took almost a year break from the game and came back to it to see if my opinion would have changed, and so I fired up the Campaign on Insane.  Sadly, my opinion did not change, and I found it just as disappointing as before, only now more so because of the horrible Checkpoint system and sub-par level design made far more apparent by the added difficulty.

Anyway, I happily sold it, and I certainly won't be picking up Gears of War: Judgment.  At this point, unless something drastically changes, I'm done with the franchise.  I'll always have extremely fond memories of the first two games and may go back to Gears of War 2 every now and again, but basically the Gears of War franchise is one that went completely downhill with Gears of War 3, and there's far better games out there to spend my money on.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Walking Dead (Xbox 360) Completed for the 2nd Time, Game Breaking Bug Prevents 3rd Completion

I realized I forgot to post a few weeks back that I completed my second playthrough of Telltale Games amazing The Walking Dead (Xbox 360).

In contrast to my first playthrough, I decided to play as a more cruel Lee, though I basically supported Kenny through most of the game.  I also saved Doug this time, and performed several other selfish actions that I don't want to type here since they're spoilers.

While much of the end result is still the same, it was great to see how things changed along the journey of getting there, and I really need to commend Telltale Games for crafting such a wonderful storyline with such great character development.

I had so much fun, that only a week or so later I began my third and final playthrough of the game, this time playing sensibly and how I would react if I were indeed Lee.

Everything was going great up until the end of Episode 4 when I received the following error message:  "Storage device lost."  I've never in my history of gaming on an Xbox 360 seen this error before, and I assumed that it was the beginning stages of my HDD dying.

Turns out it's a game breaking bug, and at present, it doesn't appear that Telltale Games is able to reproduce it, let alone fix it.

Basically I first saw the error towards the end of Episode 4 when I'm choosing who's going to come and search with me.  I was able to use the "Rewind" feature to go back to the previous Checkpoint and complete the Episode without further issue, but the following day this error message began again roughly midway through Episode 5 (during "Seige").

Things I've tried to resolve the problem:

- Playing from Cloud Storage
- Clearing my System Cache
- Deleting and redownloading the Title Update

I even had a back up on a USB flashdrive from a few days earlier before any errors occurred, so I copied this to my HDD and resumed from there (halfway through Episode 3).  I was able to clear Episode 4 no problem, however I was only able to make it to "Trapped" in Episode 5 before the error hit again.  Subsequent attempts has it happening on "Siege" or "Trapped."

Sadly, I don't know what the issue is or why this is happening, and I've emailed Telltale Games Product Support in the hopes they can assist.

If anyone has also encountered this error and has found a solution, I'd love to hear what worked for you.

It's such a shame as otherwise the game is absolutely amazing, and I'm only about an hour out from finishing it for my third and what would be my final time.  Should I learn of a solution, I'll also post it up in case any of you are having the same issue.

Frobisher Says! (PlayStation Vita) Review

I'm going to keep this review very short and simple:  Frobisher Says! is a free-to-play game for the PlayStation Vita.  It features a series of mini-games that players must complete over and over while trying to earn a time bonus to increase their score.

I first downloaded the game last Fall and gave it a whirl, and personally, it really is not a game for me.  I was very underwhelmed by the art style, the mini-games, and the whole thing really.  It does make use of all the PlayStation Vita's capabilities, such as motion controls, the front and rear touchpad, and even the camera, however I found its responsiveness was not always the best which added to my negative impression of the title.

After giving it a short try, I deleted it, however a few months back Trophy support was added via a patch, so I redownlaoded the game and started earning Trophies.  Thankfully, they weren't too hard to achieve (most of them anyway), but even after revisiting it and really trying to get into what Frobisher Says! has to offer, I don't like the game at all or anything about it.  Once I earned my last Trophy today I promptly deleted the title and have no intention of getting it again.

For those interested, the mini-games consist of things like scratching Frobisher's back using the rear touchpad (pictured), smiling at ladies as they come by on a conveyer belt and not smiling when its an animal (pictured), using the bumpers to punch a boxing bear, using the front touchscreen to remove a plug from a bathtub drain, squashing clay faces by pinching them between touchpads, etc.

While I didn't like it at all, however, you may, and since it's free feel free to give it a whirl.  Personally though, I wouldn't recommend it as there are for more entertaining free-to-play games out there.

Batman: Arkham Origins Announced

Earlier this week, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment announced Batman: Arkham Origins, the third game in the Batman: Arkham franchise, and a prequel.  Set several years before the events of the previous games, it features a younger Batman during a defining moment of his career.

The game is being developed by a different studio this time around, WB Games Montreal, and will release on Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3, and Wii U on October 25th, 2013.

A companion game is also being developed by Armature Studio for the 3DS and PlayStation Vita.  Entitled Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, the game is a 2.5-D game that will allow players to continue the console version's story.  It will also be available on October 25th.

I was blown away by Batman: Arkham Asylum, and I actually plan to pick up Batman: Arkham City soon since I missed out on it.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us Battle Arena Finals

And the finals for the Injustice: Gods Among Us Battle Arena are kicking off, Superman versus Batman.

To get prepared, you can watch this video here or below:

Make sure to go cast your vote, and check back next week for the match once the winners are announced.  I expect Batman will win, though I'm voting for Superman.

Injustice: Gods Among Us will be available on April 16th for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U.

Injustice: Gods Among Us (Xbox 360) Demo Impressions

Last week, the demo for Injustice: Gods Among Us released to consoles, and unlike Mortal Kombat, who's demo is a PlayStation 3 exclusive, Xbox 360 gamers also get a chance to take this demo for a spin.  I spent a little bit of time with it, and I must say the demo's structure is very reminiscent of what the Mortal Kombat demo offered two years prior (which isn't a bad thing).

The Injustice: Gods Among Us demo features three playable fighters, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Lex Luthor, and a single stage, Gotham City.  There are no alternate costumes for the fighters in the demo, and there are only two modes of play, Single Player Battles (Arcade Ladder) or Multiplayer Versus (offline only).  Battles ends in a match against Doomsday as the boss character.

I did three separate Battles runs to try out each character, starting with Wonder Woman on Very Easy, then Batman on Normal, and finally Lex Luthor on Hard.  Now, one thing I've always been particular about in fighting games is the controls and Controller layout, and I am disappointed that Injustice: Gods Among Us does not mimic Mortal Kombat's more.  The primary differences are that there are three attack buttons ("X" and "Y" are punches of sorts, and "A" is a kick of sorts), "B" switches styles or uses a Character Power (For Wonder Woman, she switches from using her Lasso, which is offensive, to using her Sword and Shield, which is defensive, while for Batman this releases Mechanical Bats that he can use), and there is no Block button.  In order to Block, like many other fighters, you simply hold away from your opponent, however I've always been a Block button fan and still found myself hitting Right Trigger by default.

The actual matches against the AI are fast and fluid, very much like Mortal Kombat.  You can tell that game really inspired Injustice: God Among Us' style by feel alone, which I highly approve of.  Juggle combos are executed in the same manner, and of the demo characters I found I really enjoyed playing as Batman, and I was able to pull of some good 5-hit combos without even trying, while Lex Luthor was my least favourite, as he appears to be a slower, stronger character type, which has never been a match for me.

As we've seen in preview videos, stages are interactive, and I was able to grab signs and such and toss them at my opponent by pressing Right Bumper (Throw is now on Left Bumper), and I was knocked to the stage's different area once, which featured a cool transition.  I also had a few Super Moves performed against me and they were very flashy, and the head-to-head sequences seemed cool, though I didn't perfectly work out how they functioned, be it how to trigger them or exactly how to counter them.  I lost most attempts at them, but that's alright as this is only a demo.

When you Pause the game you instantly have access to a mini-moves list for your character, which is quite handy, followed by the more detailed list you can select similar to what we've seen in Mortal Kombat, save that now frame data is also displayed which is a huge plus for those who take fighting games quite seriously.

Visually the demo looks great, and menus and backgrounds feature the same high level of polish I've come to expect from NetherRealm Studios.  Character models also looked very well done, but I honestly found they looked slightly lesser than the detailed models we have in Mortal Kombat, though that could also have simply been a result of the Gotham City stage's dimmer lighting.  The audio, both voice acting, music, and effects, were also extremely well done.

I tinkered around with the demo for about an hour overall, and the only Battles run I didn't complete was with Lex Luthor, as I couldn't defeat Doomsday with him on Hard.  Overall though I found the difficulties balanced similar to that of Mortal Kombat, where they're not that difficult, even on Hard, provided you have a good understanding of the game mechanics and your fighter.

For those excited for the game, provided you also enjoyed what you saw in Mortal Kombat, I don't think you'll be disappointed in Injustice: Gods Among Us when it releases.  The demo is very high polished and fans of Mortal Kombat should pretty much fit right in.  For me though, I'm still less interested in the DC universe itself, as it doesn't hold nostalgia for me like a Mortal Kombat reboot did.  I'm also far from finished with Mortal Kombat, and don't quite need a new fighter at this time.  I figure I will pick the game up down the road, but likely after a "Komplete Edition" hits store shelves.

Duke Nukem Forever (Xbox 360) Sold

Today, I sold my Xbox 360 version of Duke Nukem Forever.  I had some fun with the game last Fall and overall I feel everyone was too hard on it, but it's definitely not an amazing game and there's plenty of other titles I'd prefer to spend my time on.

I got it dirt cheap brand new last June, and was able to sell it today for a good amount considering, so I'm happy.

Right now, I plan to focus on really polishing my backlog off (I'm close), and then pick up a few games I missed out on.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 3 Review

A week ago, the third season of AMC's incredibly popular series, The Walking Dead, came to a close.  The premiere episode picked up months after the second season's finale with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group constantly on the run from walkers, moving from place to place without any safe haven.  Andrea (Laurie Holden), who was separated from the group when Hershel's (Scott Wilson) farm burned down, is in the hands of the mysterious new character Michonne (Danai Gurira), who's looking out for her while she's ill.

Rick's group stumbles upon a prison and is able to clear it, making it their safe haven with high fences that keep the walkers out.  Michonne and Andrea stumble upon another group of survivors lead by a man who calls himself the Governor (David Morrissey), who captures them and takes them to his fortified town of Woodbury.  While the Governor seems all polite and generous at first, he soon proves to be anything but and becomes the primary antagonist of Rick's group.

The third season of The Walking Dead is the longest one yet, comprising 16 episodes, and I think most will agree that the first half of the season was spectacular.  The inconsistency that plagued Season 2 is gone, and Rick is far tougher and no-nonsense than he's ever been before.  Hardened by the betrayal of Shane (Jon Bernthal), the manipulation of his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), and her pending pregnancy, Rick knows they must find a sanctuary or die, and survival at all costs becomes his only driving force.

The third season starts off desperate, violent, and with the illusion of hope for many.  Set backs and adversity occur, and some tragedies happen, really pushing characters to their limits.  Make no mistake, here, we're watching a very dramatic rendition of the zombie apocalypse, and we finally get to see one of the most entertaining and dangerous aspects of the medium:  the cruelty and savagery of other survivors.

"Fear the living" is one of the primary tag lines for this season, and it shows.  The walkers are most certainly present, but the characters in the show know how to handle them now, and while they respect them and their lethality, they're no longer terrified of them.  The walkers are predictable, they're a known quantity, but what people will do when pushed to the brink or faced with the chance for power, that is the unknown.

Originally Rick's group stumbles across a few inmates in the prison who survived, and things need to be hashed out with them.  At some points it's tense, at others touching, and at others it becomes very desperate and violent, and consequences are had.  Characters who we've been watching from the start of the show die, some in better ways than others, and this has far reaching consequences for all, most notably Rick's son Carl (Chandler Riggs).  Carl begins to truly understand the world he now lives in, and what must be done to survive.  Essentially, though this season, we begin to see Carl finally grow up, but he will become, what he will do with his new found sense of maturity, we'll need to see.

And then the Governor really gets into the mix.  At the end of Season 2, people talked about how we were going to see a Ricktatorship, and while he certainly got tougher, Rick's no dictator.  He is, at his core, a good man, and we still see this throughout.  The Governor though, he has his little fiefdom, his grab for power, and he wants to expand that.  He manipulates, he murders, and he terrorizes those who oppose him, and his character is the best thing to happen to the show period.  He is a man who is not afraid.  He's not afraid of walkers, as he has them captured and turned loose on his enemies.  He's not afraid of responsibility, as he brings to heel anyone who gets in his way.  And most disturbing of all, he believes that he is right.  He's not just a villain for the sake of being one, he's a character who believes that what he is doing is absolutely the correct thing to do in this post-apocalyptic world, and it's that belief that makes him as terrifying as he is charismatic and captivating.

The conflict, the suspense, and the drama really capitalize with the mid-season finale, and then at a point where loyalties are truly put to the test something odd happens when the season picks up again:  The Walking Dead goes back to the inconsistency we had before.  It didn't drop to the extent that Season 2 did, but once again we have characters making very poor choices, odd coincidences, and the overall quality declined.  Don't mistake me, there were still some really great episodes through the second half (I'm looking at you, "Clear."), but it did become a mixed bag, which is a real shame.

By the time last week's finale aired, we got to see some redemption, some tragedy, and good intentions gone awry.  The finale itself was definitely one of the weaker episodes of the season, as we were hyped up for a large conflict that didn't really happen, but the fallout for it was quite shocking, and the implications it means for Season 4 leaves a lot up in the air.  There's lots of possibilities that can happen next season, power's definitely been shifted, and I'm hoping the creative team behind the series takes advantage of that and really ramps things up again.

Overall however, I believe this was the best season the show's seen to date.  It captured the gritty realism I'd expect from a zombie apocalypse:  the desperation of just trying to survive to tomorrow and from trying to carve the illusion of safety out of chaos.  Bet of all, perhaps, is that it's really deviated from the comics now, and the story's gone in a rather different direction.  The TV series is it's own now, and it's wide open and anyone's guess as to how things will play out.

Fans of the show, overall, should be quite pleased with Season 3 and looking forward to Season 4, and new comers should be inspired to check out what they missed in seasons past.

Injustice: Gods Among Us "Black Adam" Trailer and "Mobile Game" Trailer

Injustice: Gods Among Us is almost here, and NetherRealm Studios has revealed that Captain Marvel's enemy, Black Adam, will indeed be a playable character.

You can check out his announcement trailer here or below:

Just released last week, iOS fans have gotten a free-to-play mobile game version of Injustice: Gods Among Us, and you can see it in action in this trailer here or below:

The iOS game will provide a few unlocks for those with the console version, and vice versa.

Halo 4: Castle Map Pack Strategy Videos

The Halo 4: Castle Map Pack releases tomorrow, and 343 Industries has put up a strategy video for each map.

You can watch them here, here, here, or below:

Halo 4: Castle Map Pack will be available for 800 Microsoft Points, and for those who have the game's Limited Edition or the War Games Map Pass, it's available at no additional charge.